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China earmarks more food subsidies to college students
13/3/2008 9:49

China yesterday allocated more funds to college students as a temporary food subsidy to offset the burden of rising inflation.

According to the ministries of education and finance, the money will be given out "as soon as possible" to students from financially vulnerable homes.

Several days earlier, the two ministries had channeled a subsidy of 189.28 million yuan to students of universities managed by the central government. The size was calculated by 20 yuan per person during each of the four months from March to June.

Local governments had also been directed to allocate subsidies to colleges they manage in accordance with the same criteria.

With the move, all college students across the country will get at least 20 yuan each month during the period, with about 20 percent of them from financially vulnerable families receiving 40 yuan, said an education ministry spokesman.

The Finance Ministry had earmarked two emergency subsidies to central government managed universities in July and December last year to offset growing inflation which had worsened the student's meals.

China's consumer price index (CPI), the main inflation indicator, rose 8.7 percent in February over the same period last year, the highest monthly increase in nearly 12 years, according to official figures.

The figure was mainly pushed by soaring food prices and the severe winter weather that wrought havoc in south China in January and February.

Food prices surged 23.3 percent in February, with pork prices up 63.4 percent, and vegetable prices rising 46 percent, contributing to about 80 percent of the CPI increase.